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Mishlei 21-30


(Pesukim 21:30 and 21:31)

Key Concepts

Despite our ability to use our intelligence and expert advice, we must always remain aware that our skills and preparation are of no avail if Hashem does not approve of our undertaking and does not grant its success. Therefore, before we take counsel and prepare the means toward an end, we need to first take counsel with Hashem, that is, with the Torah and the lessons taught by the Torah. Only then, are we entitled to wish and hope for success, and to utilize the means at our disposal in order to reach a desirable goal.

Exploring Mishlei

ל = אֵין חָכְמָה וְאֵין תְּבוּנָה וְאֵין עֵצָה לְנֶגֶד ה

(30) Neither wisdom nor understanding nor counsel avails against Hashem.

Even the wisest men are totally insignificant before Hashem. Furthermore, no human being is capable of revoking a heavenly decree.

לא = סוּס מוּכָן לְיוֹם מִלְחָמָה וְלַה’ הַתְּשׁוּעָה

(31) The horse is prepared for the day of battle,
but victory is only from Hashem.

Although the outcome of the battle is in the hands of Hashem, the men who will be responsible for taking part in the battle are expected to make the necessary preparations as though they were the ones who will determine the outcome. Having done so, they must still have total faith that Hashem is orchestrating the entire event.

The example presented in Mishlei refers to a military campaign, but it could just as well apply to any other type of project or commercial initiative.

Learning Mishlei

(30) There is no human wisdom אֵין חָכְמָה
and there is no human understanding, וְאֵין תְּבוּנָה
and there is no human counsel, וְאֵין עֵצָה
that can prevail against the will of Hashemלְנֶגֶד ה

(31) The horse is preparedסוּס מוּכָן
by human beings
for the day of battle
, לְיוֹם מִלְחָמָה
but the victorious result is controlled by Hashem alone וְלַה’ הַתְּשׁוּעָה

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